Based on Voloshin’s own script and executed as a fictional recreation of the director’s adolescence and youth in the late-1980s-mid 1990s, in the city of Sebastopol on the Black Sea. The frame for the narrative is provided by the narrator-protagonist, played by Artur Smolyaninov, who is riding a bus at night shooting a film about his friends. He calls his film “a demo for God.”
I Am has two time-specific settings: 1987, when the protagonist is twelve and hangs out with his older friends in front of an mental asylum doing drugs; and 1993, when he is eighteen and voluntarily checks into the asylum to avoid being drafted. At the asylum, the hero experiences brutality, forcible drug treatment, and quasi-memories or quasi-hallucinations featuring his now dead friends.